Posted 16/02/2016

Are you sleeping comfortably?

Yes? Me too. So we are the lucky ones.

Are you sleeping comfortably?

Yes? Me too. So we are the lucky ones.

But on the 17th March I won’t be sleeping quite so comfortably, and neither will my comrades in the 2016 CEO Sleepout.

For one night only we will sleep out on the streets to raise much needed funds for Action for Children. Why? So that we can help get more children and young people off the streets in 2016.

I expect it will be cold. I’m hoping it won’t rain. And I won’t lie, I’m looking forward to a hot breakfast in the morning. But I know my teammates will support each other through what will be a long cold night, and that at the end of the day, we’ll survive.

A luxury that homeless children do not have

Sleeping comfortably, safely and securely should not be a luxury, it should be a basic staple of life. Yet so many children are still becoming the tragic victims of homelessness.

As a young man I felt the insecurity of homelessness weigh over my family. My personal story includes living in a squat, where I spent a lot of time wondering whether this really was it for the rest of my life. But I was fortunate. I got a lucky break and worked my way out of homelessness and into a situation where my family and I would never face the same fears again.

Sadly, when it comes to living on the streets, young people have recently become one of the most ‘at risk’ sectors of our society. Care-leavers who have already suffered tremendously throughout their young lives, moving around from place to place and hoping only for the security of a warm home and loving family, are finding themselves homeless due to cuts in public spending. A reduction in accommodation, healthcare and education has resulted in an increase in homelessness.

Action for Children is getting as many young care-leavers off the streets as possible by intervening early and supporting them to grow their skills, their confidence, and their ability to care for themselves in the long term. But there is so much more to do if we want to see the most at risk children in our society given the opportunity to sleep comfortably once more.

Join the fight

Please join the fight against homelessness for children by sponsoring me in the 2016 CEO Sleepout. The equivalent of just £5 a month would buy emergency overnight support for one child living on the street; and the equivalent of just £20 a month would help keep the doors of a youth homelessness project open, saving many young lives across the UK.

When you are sleeping comfortably in your bed tonight, surrounded by warm covers and central heating, please think about how you could support a child who is not sleeping quite so comfortably this winter. If you are a CEO you could join us at the Sleepout.

If not, or if you can’t make it this year, then please consider supporting this essential cause by sponsoring my night at the CEO Sleepout.

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